May 19, 2020

Facebook leads with data privacy at F8 Developer conference

Facebook
Mark Zuckerberg
Data Privacy
Pouyan Broukhim
2 min
Facebook leads with data privacy at F8 Developer conference

Two weeks after his two day testimony to US Congress in April, Mark Zuckerberg has made his first major public appearance at Facebook’s annual developer conference, F8.

Alongside the usual order of business that saw Facebook unveiling the new Oculus Go and launching a dating service within the social media platform, the company also focused heavily on providing greater transparency and control over how the company handles user data.

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“Facebook had to strike a delicate balance at its 2018 developer conference - delivering the usual growth focused developer evangelism alongside the new reality post Cambridge Analytica,” said Geoff Blaber, Vice President of Research at CCS Insight. “Facebook walked the tightrope but F8 is indicative of the challenge facing Facebook moving forwards.”

Within this, Zuckerberg revealed that the platform would be introducing a Clear History features, eliminating data about activities within Facebook.

“After going through our systems, this is an example of the kind of control we think you should have,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post. “It's something privacy advocates have been asking for - and we will work with them to make sure we get it right.”

Whilst Facebook’s reputation remains damaged after up to 87mn people may have had their data revealed to Cambridge Analytica through the network, these steps are the first in looking to right these wrongs.

“Security, privacy and responsibility was the lead theme as Facebook emphasized the importance of development as the means to ensure user safety,” Blaber continued. “Mark Zuckerberg struck a defiant tone in accepting 'we need to do more to keep people safe but we will also keep building’.”

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Jun 21, 2021

How AWS helps NASCAR delight its fans

AWS
NASCAR
3 min
Customer obsession and working backwards from the customer is a mantra of Amazon Web Services (AWS), epitomizing its partnership with NASCAR

AWS needs no introduction to readers of Technology Magazine but we rarely get an opportunity to look closely at how it serves the sports sector. All major sports draw in a huge supporter base that they want to nurture and support. Technology is the key to every major sports organization and enabling this is the driving force for AWS, says Matt Hurst, Head of Global Sports Marketing and Communications for AWS. “In sports, as in every industry, machine learning and artificial intelligence and high performance computing are helping to usher in the next wave of technical sports innovation.”

AWS approaches sports in three principal areas. “The first is unlocking data’s potential: leagues and teams hold vast amounts of data and AWS is enabling them to analyze that data at scale and make better, more informed decisions. The second is engaging and delighting fans: with AWS fans are getting deeper insights through visually compelling on-screen graphics and interactive Second Screen experiences. And the third is rapidly improving sports performance: leagues and teams are using AWS to innovate like never before.”

Among the many global brands that partner with AWS are Germany's Bundesliga, the NFL, F1, the NHL, the PGA Tour and of course NASCAR. NASCAR has worked with AWS on its digital transformation (migrating it's 18 petabyte video archive containing 70 years of historical footage to AWS), to optimize its cloud data center operations and to enable its global brand expansion. AWS Media Services powers the NASCAR Drive mobile app, delivering broadcast-quality content for more than 80 million fans worldwide. The platform, including AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaStore, helps NASCAR provide fans instant access to the driver’s view of the race track during races, augmented by audio and a continually updated leaderboard. “And NASCAR will use our flagship machine learning service Amazon SageMaker to train deep learning models to enhance metadata and video analytics.”

Using AWS artificial intelligence and machine learning, NASCAR aims to deliver even more fan experiences that they'd never have anticipated. “Just imagine a race between Dale Earnhardt Sr and Dale Jr at Talladega! There's a bright future, and we're looking forward to working with NASCAR, helping them tap into AWS technology to continue to digitally transform, innovate and create even more fan experiences.”

Just as AWS is helping NASCAR bridge that historical gap between the legacy architecture and new technology, more customers are using AWS for machine learning than any other provider. As an example, who would have thought five years ago that NFL would be using  ML to predict and prevent injury to its players? Since 2017, the league has utilized AWS as its official cloud and ML provider for the NFL Next Gen Stats (NGS) platform, which provides real-time location data, speed, and acceleration for every player during every play on every inch of the field. “One of the most potentially revolutionary components of the NFL-AWS partnership,” says Matt Hurst, “is the development of the 'Digital Athlete,' a computer simulation model that can be used to replicate infinite scenarios within the game environment—including variations by position and environmental factors, emphasizing the league's commitment to player safety.”

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